Ask Steve Brill Anything

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Some background on Brill:

He is the founder of CourtTV and American Lawyer magazine. His most recent venture is Journalism Online, which he sold to RR Donnelley in 2011 for a reported $45 million and now has more than 400 publications using its Press+ service to charge for digital content. He also founded Verified Identity Pass, Inc., a New York-based company that operated the Clear airport security fast-pass, a pre-cursor to the current Federal Trusted Traveler program.  In addition to writing a column for Newsweek, he has written magazine articles for The New Yorker, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Harpers and Time.

His most recent success is that 36-page Time cover-story, “Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us”, which the Dish covered here and here. Money quote from Brill:

When we debate health care policy, we seem to jump right to the issue of who should pay the bills, blowing past what should be the first question: Why exactly are the bills so high?

What are the reasons, good or bad, that cancer means a half-million- or million-dollar tab? Why should a trip to the emergency room for chest pains that turn out to be indigestion bring a bill that can exceed the cost of a semester of college? What makes a single dose of even the most wonderful wonder drug cost thousands of dollars? Why does simple lab work done during a few days in a hospital cost more than a car? And what is so different about the medical ecosystem that causes technology advances to drive bills up instead of down?

Brill’s piece is what journalism should now be doing – the long, deep-dive, debate-shifting essay that addresses our reality in an accessible, clear but compelling way.  To submit a question for Steve, simply enter it into the Urtak survey after answering all of the existing questions (ignore the “YES or NO question” aspect and simply enter any open-ended question). To vote, click “Yes” if you have a strong interest in seeing him answer the question or “No” if you don’t particularly care. Thanks for participating.